Strikes Bring Tunisia To A Halt

Tunisia’s powerful UGTT union staged a nationwide strike on 17 January hitting the country’s transport, hospitals, schools and state services following the government’s refusal to grant wage hikes for 670,000 public sector workers.

Tunis gave into the UGTT in October 2018 when it agreed to raise salaries for 150,000 state-firm employees ( MEES, 16 November 2018 ), drawing the ire of the IMF with which it is undergoing a $2.9bn economic reform program.

It has held firm since but with elections scheduled for later this year, it is under massive pressure to raise wages ( MEES, 23 November 2018 ). Reuters reported that the government offered hikes of $400mn, less than half the $850mn UGTT is seeking. (CONTINUED - 126 WORDS)